By Jorge Valenzuela

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Try PBL MASTER ClASS with Jorge Valenzuela

If you’re new to Project Based Learning (PBL), the concept of doing projects can seem daunting, overwhelming, and perhaps outright tricky. Moreover, many educators do have some experience with having their students ‘do or create projects.’ Let’s, therefore, get some clarification into what we mean by ‘project’ when we say PBL.

According to PBLWorks, the leading organization for PBL in the world, “Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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5 Ways to Become a More Confident Educator by Jorge Valenzuela

This Post is and provides:

  • An opinion piece about actions to take and skills sets to master for optimal teaching.
  • Research on best practices for various pedagogical strategies.
  • Resources.

For years I struggled to ‘find’ confidence in material possessions, impressive friendships, or my physical appearance. Ten years ago, I lost a family member that I love dearly. During the grieving process, I came across the work of Eckert Tollee and learned that true confidence doesn’t come through material assets or high-profile associations. Confidence (or certainty in oneself) is actually ‘earned’ overtime when we learn to accept ourselves, develop emotional intelligence


By Jorge Valenzuela

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3 Ways for Educators to Make the Holiday Break More Meaningful: By Jorge Valenzuela

In This Post:

  • The importance of using our holiday break time to recharge, professionally and personally.
  • Three ways to have a more meaningful holiday break.

Let’s face it. Teaching is tough, which can lead to stress — especially for all that teachers have had to endure with the coronavirus pandemic.

Even before the crisis began, studies showed that burnout and trauma associated with teaching are so emotionally taxing that it causes some of our most talented educators to rethink their choice in the profession and then leave. …


By Jorge Valenzuela

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3 Ways to know when it’s time to leave your school or district By Jorge Valenzuela

In 2016, I was at a crossroads and needed to be challenged professionally. As I contemplated leaving my district position — I knew it was time for me to go but had a lot of fear and anxiety about my next steps and how I would be able to take care of my family financially. Luckily, I received advice from a mentor who said, “Only seek advice from those who have already accomplished what you want to accomplish — it’ll remove part of the learning curve for you.” I therefore reached out to a trusted thought partner, Dr. …


By Jorge Valenzuela

Initially, remote learning was an emergency response to the pandemic, but now we need to get better at engaging students. Together we can use this as a professional learning opportunity for leveling up our teaching practice this school year.

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A NEW Trifecta for Remote Teaching by Jorge Valenzuela

Like many teachers at this time, the COVID-19 crisis caused me to begin teaching all of my classes remotely. Although, I was not new to online teaching or coaching — I wasn’t sure how the experience would be fun or engaging for either myself or my learners who were now being forced to assimilate.

I knew the basics to deliver content…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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2 Things We Should All Learn from the COVID-19 Crisis by Jorge Valenzuela

In this post:

  • The COVID-19 crisis has brought many conversations to the forefront, including those of equity and education’s future.
  • Two things both educators and non-educators can learn from this crisis.
  • Resources to assist your learning and reflection.

We are living in unprecedented times. The effects of the COVID-19 crisis are rapidly reshaping American society. In my lifetime, I can’t think of a larger-scale, more life-altering event, aside from September 11 or the financial crisis of 2008. Years later, as a nation, we are still reeling from those events. We are changed forever because of them.

From immediate social and economic impact to…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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3 Ways for Educators to Reboot and Level Up Practice During COVID-19 by Jorge Valenzuela

With schools and educators currently navigating the impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to daily life and the instructional day —many American schools will need to acclimate to the reality of at-home learning for the remainder of the school year.

For many of our educators, an abrupt disruption to the classroom has caused increased stress as they rally with colleagues to curate resources and acquire new skills for keeping their students safe, nourished, informed, and academically inclined throughout this challenging time.

As usual, the education community has rallied together to provide schools and parents open access to the right digital…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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3 Steps Educators can Take to Better Manage Their Emotions by Jorge Valenzuela

In This Post:

  • A background on emotional intelligence (EQ).
  • Research on emotional regulation.
  • Suggestions to improve social emotional learning (SEL), both of yourself and students.

Being an ever-evolving educator, I am continually looking for ways to improve my practice. Both for helping students and also those closest to me. Almost a year ago (March 2019), I read an article by Travis Bradberry on mastering first impressions. I was impressed with his insight and understanding of human psychology.

The article provided quick tips for showing up better in my interactions with others. It also pointed me to the book Emotional Intelligence…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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Hour of Code

Each December, schools around the world celebrate Hour of Code. Launched by Code.org in 2013, the movement was designed to introduce computer science (CS) to students and also demystify it. It also commemorates the birthday of computing pioneer Grace Hopper.

Hour of Code — WORLDWIDE by Code.org

Code.org packs an extensive library of activities and tutorials for teachers to use for Hour of Code. Some of the popular tutorials include Animate an Adventure Game, codeSpark Academy with the Foos: Create Games, Minecraft Voyage Aquatic and a favorite with my students, Dance Party!

Code.org’s website allows users to…


By Jorge Valenzuela

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Young student learning to code in Scratch.

I first learned about coding and computer science (CS) in college about 20 years ago. Looking back, not much has changed in the foundational concepts or core practices in CS. What has changed is who can teach it and where it can live in the curriculum — today educators in any subject can teach coding.

For example, an English language arts teacher may teach a lesson that helps students make connections between coding with proper syntax and writing with correct grammar. …

Jorge Valenzuela

Jorge Valenzuela is the lead educational coach at Lifelong Learning Defined, an education author and advocate.

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